Sunday, August 12, 2012

42 Going on 43 (Birthday Thoughts)

Happy Birthday Eve to me.

I will celebrate my
very insignificant
rarely celebrated
mild and bland
43rd birthday.

There are no big 43rd Birthday Parties.
There are no Hallmark cards with glittery "43"s on the front.
There are no invitations, plates, coordinating napkins or wall decorations
with MY age on them.

43 is just an age.
Not a big deal.
through the 40s 50

But I am celebrating it,
I am celebrating being 42
becoming 43.

I am still becoming.
I am still on my way.
I am looking at me
looking at my life
looking at my future
looking at my relationships
my family
my purpose
my wants and needs
and my heart.

I am looking back
and looking forward
with wonder
and questions
and hope
and peace
and a sense of being able to breathe deeply
about where I am
where I have been
and where I am going.

I lost my mother before her 58th birthday.
I had time with her.
I had time to learn from her.
I had time to listen to her.
I had time to watch her pass from this life to the next.
I was given the opportunity to witness her death,
to be taught by her,
how to face death and
even how to welcome it.
And leave this life,
this world
She taught me how to pass away,
with dignity and grace.

And I appreciate the lesson.
I value what she taught me.

But there is a part of me,
that I know really would have liked to witness
her grow old.
I would have loved to see how she aged.
Not simply because I miss her.
Not simply because I long to have her in my life...
but because I would have liked to see
and experience
and learn
more about aging.
About how aging tempered her
strengthened her
gave her greater perspective
and deeper love
and who she became in her years beyond 57.

And so,
as I complete another year,
and look out at the year--
the age
on the horizon,
I choose to focus even more
on becoming.
I choose to focus more on listening
and questioning
and seeking
and understanding
and loving
and caring about
and knowing

I was given a gift,
when I lost my mother.
I was given the gift of perspective.
I was given the gift of appreciation.
I was given the gift of hope
and inspiration.

And I live with an understanding
that life is short.
And that I have a life to live
and people to love
and a son to raise
and daughters to nurture.

Along with countless other life lessons,
My mother taught me how to die.
She taught me how to face eternity
and cross over...
I want to teach my daughters
To Live.

Not how to live...
to live.

I want them to see in me;
in the future
(and from the days of the past they have been witness to)
that I lived.
That I was alive.
That I was aware.
That I was awake.
That I worked on myself...

and loved the results.

I want them to see that I loved the results
of the life I lived.
Loved my crow's feet and smile lines
Loved my stretch marks and age spots
Loved my victories and embraced my failures.
That I loved the results of the risks I took
the people I loved
and even the mistakes I made.

I want them to see that
I forgave
and trusted
and welcomed
and cared.
That I was kind
and gracious
and classy
and open-hearted.
And free.
I want to see that I lived in freedom.

I want them to see that I was alive
and that I lived my life
with all I had
all of my heart
and all of me.

I have done my best with that so far.
I have learned to love 'being." being a woman being alone being me.

But I want even more.
I want even more from myself.
I want even more for myself.
I want to be a better version of myself.
I want to keep growing
and becoming.
Every day of this next year.

And so,
I am celebrating the past year.
And ringing in the next one!
I am wishing myself a very Happy Birthday!

And many, many more.

Happy Birthday to me! Can't wait for 43!